The reconstruction of the university doctorate viewed through Bernstein’s conceptual frameworks

Crossouard, Barbara (2012) The reconstruction of the university doctorate viewed through Bernstein’s conceptual frameworks. In: Oxford Learning Institute Seminar Series, 23 February 2012, Oxford Learning Institute, University of Oxford.

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Doctoral and postdoctoral education is recognised in UK and EU policy circles as key to the development of the knowledge economy. Recent UK doctoral reforms have included strengthened quality assurance, increased skills training to enhance doctoral graduate employability, and the introduction of a ‘Researcher Development Framework’ to represent the range of competences that doctoral holders might acquire.

Doctoral education is undergoing a quite rapid reconstruction therefore, being displaced from its more traditional construction as an apprenticeship for an academic career, to the training and development of the professional researcher. Attempting to bring a sociological lens to these changes, the presentation draws on Bernstein’s (2001) conceptual frameworks to consider data from a small-scale study of post-doctoral transitions (Crossouard 2010). In particular, the speaker drew on Bernstein’s concepts of classification and regionalisation to theorise the construction of new interfaces between fields of production of knowledge and fields of practice within policy discourse on doctoral education and to contrast this with the perceptions of doctoral graduates of their research training and training needs. While recent UK interventions to support researcher skills training have characteristics that could be typified as belonging within Bernstein’s ‘generic performance mode’, the study suggests the inadequacy of this to account for the complexity of respondents’ experiences. The presentation concluded by probing how Bernstein’s conceptual vocabulary might be used within doctoral pedagogy to sustain critical debate about policy reconstructions of the doctorate.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: Barbara Crossouard
Date Deposited: 16 May 2013 13:13
Last Modified: 17 May 2013 11:27
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